Originally published: March 12, 2012
Last updated: March 12, 2012 - 3:00pm
The Federal Trade Commission issued a staff report summarizing the results of a survey of identity theft victims who were asked to describe their experiences dealing with consumer reporting agencies and, more generally, exercising their rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) as amended by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), to recover from identity theft. The survey showed that most of the respondents were generally satisfied with their experiences, but the report also noted areas for improvement.
The survey showed:
- Sixty-eight percent of the survey respondents were somewhat or very satisfied with their overall experiences with the consumer reporting agencies, but many consumers said it was difficult to reach a live person.
- Less than half of the respondents were aware of most of their rights under FACTA before they contacted the consumer reporting agencies.
- Some respondents complained about feeling pressured to buy additional identity theft monitoring products when they called the consumer reporting agencies.
The report concluded that:
- The consumer reporting agencies may need to make it easier for consumers to reach a live person;
- The FTC and other enforcement agencies should do more to educate the public about their rights under FACTA; and
- The FTC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should use their respective authorities to address the consumer reporting agencies' practices related to selling identity theft monitoring products or services when they are contacted by identity theft victims.
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